Amid ‘strict lockdown’ in Bacoor, mussel and oyster growers demand economic relief, livelihood support

Amid ‘strict lockdown’ in Bacoor, mussel and oyster growers demand economic relief, livelihood support

Manila, Philippines – The municipal chapter of the national fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) in Bacoor City, Cavite, on Friday demanded its local government to ‘immediately and unconditionally’ disperse economic relief and subsidy for the fisherfolk who are affected by the lockdown.

Bacoor City was placed under lockdown on Thursday days after the entire island of Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine as cases of corona virus disease (COVID-19) rose in the last few weeks.

In a statement, the Alyansa ng mga Magdaragat sa Bacoor Bay, PAMALAKAYA’s municipal chapter, said that ‘a total lockdown must be accompanied by daily subsistence allowance for the residents whose daily activities and livelihood will be limited and restricted’.

“The local government must provide economic relief in a form of daily subsistence allowance to its poor residents, especially those involved in the fishing industry to keep the wheels of production and sustain the food supply in and outside the city,” Myrna Candinato, President of Alyansa ng mga Magdaragat sa Bacoor Bay said in a statement.

Candinato, a mussel and oyster grower, lamented that ‘transportation of fish products from Bacoor to Metro Manila is prohibited’ since the lockdown was declared.

“Nalulugi ngayon yung mga manininda ng isda. Karamihan sakanila ay inilalako na lang rito ang mga huli nila sa mababang halaga. Pero dahil ngayong mismong Bacoor na ang may lockdown, baka pati paglalako ng isda ay ipagbawal na,” added Candinato.

Earler, PAMALAKAYA chastised the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine as ‘arbitrary and lack of a holistic measure on how to mitigate its adverse impacts to the affected workers and employees,’.

The fisherfolk group also reported the ‘sudden spike’ in the amount of fishery and aquatic products in the markets, as fish products are being barred to enter fish ports located in Metro Manila.

The group monitored that right after the Luzon-wide quarantine, market prices of tilapia (St. Peter’s fish) and galunggong (round scad) rose to P160/kilogram and P200 – P240/kilogram, respectively. ###

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